Mountain Lions Swept Despite Pair of Mathewson Homers

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 19, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS - Lara Mathewson went a combined 5-for-8 and hit home runs in each game but the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was swept in Saturday's doubleheader by the Western New Mexico Mustangs at Mountain Lion Field.

The Mountain Lions (7-16, 4-10 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) dropped the first game 6-3 before being overwhelmed 13-4 in five innings in the nightcap.

Mathewson represented 38.5 of UCCS' hits on the day as well as four of the team's seven RBIs.  Landry Davis was 3-for-6 batting No. 2, a spot ahead of Mathewson, but the rest of the team combined to go 5-for-35 for a .143 batting average.

"I don't get it; we're not hitting," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "We seem to hit well in practice but we need to flip the switch and figure out how to hit in the game situations."

Western New Mexico (10-17, 6-6 RMAC) suffered no such malaise at the plate. The Mustangs had 31 hits and posted a team average of .477 for the day.

Kaitlyn Barnes led the Mustangs, going 6-for-8 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Davina Flores, Brittney Batten and Sarah Byrne each had four hits with Byrne driving in a team-best four runs.

All nine of the runs scored in the opener came by way of the long ball. Western New Mexico got two-run homers by Barnes and Byrne and a pair of solo shots by Kale Gahn. UCCS countered with a three-run homer by Mathewson.

Mathewson's homer in the bottom of the first gave UCCS a 3-2 lead, which would stand up until the first of Gahn's blasts tied it in the top of the fourth. Bak-to-bak homers by Byrne and Gahn in the sixth gave the Mustangs a 6-3 lead.

The Mountain Lions loaded the bases in the seventh but left them stranded as Amanda Hathaway popped up.

"We had an opportunity in the seventh," said Peterson. "We thought maybe Amanda would pump one out and give us an exciting win but it didn't happen."

Bri Robles (5-8) got the win for WNMU and Becca Smith (2-5) was tagged with the loss.

The Mustangs scored three times in the first inning of Game 2 and poured it on from there with six runs in the third and four in the fifth. WNMU had 18 hits in the game plus had the benefit of some horrific UCCS defense, of which the Mountain Lions' three errors were just a small part of the story. Three catchable foul balls fell harmlessly to earth and defensive missteps caused at least three of the hits to happen in the first place.

"When you get beat like that, there's a lot of blame to go around," said Peterson. "We didn't pitch, we didn't hit, we didn't play good defense."

Some of the defensive problems are inevitable. Injuries and attrition left the Mountain Lions with just 11 players available. Because of that, catchers are manning first base and left field, third base was shared by a pitcher and a first baseman, a designated player was in left. Pitchers shared the designated player spot.

"We only had seven position players today," said Peterson. "We had all three pitchers in the game. We had four or five kids playing out of position and it exposed us."

The UCCS runs came by way of a Mathewson solo home run, a sacrifice fly by Tahnea Leeling plus an RBI groundout and a run-scoring double by Hathaway.

Emily Huhta improved to 5-3 with the win. Jessica Belsterling (4-6) took the loss.

"The good thing is we come back tomorrow," said Peterson. "We don't have to think about this for a week."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
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